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An increase in debt enquiries expected after Christmas

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by Kay Mitchell

The Citizens Advice Bureaux always see an increase in new debt enquiries after the Christmas period with the main problem last year being arrears on loans and hire purchase, catalogue and mail order debts, credit card debts and overdrafts and people seeking information on bankruptcy.

The national charity is advising people to be smart this year as Christmas approaches. Therefore, Citizens Advice and Barclaycard have provided some guidelines in order to avoid a debt hangover this year.

Teresa Perchard of the Citizens Advice said it is very easy to get carried away at Christmas and spend on the spur of the moment, especially if people leave it until the last minute. However, every year, we see a vast increase in debt problems immediately afterwards. With a little organisation, Christmas panic buying can be avoided.

Elizabeth G. Chambers of Barclaycard added we are delighted to have supported Citizens Advice with the development of these common sense tips to avoid the financial pitfalls of the festive season.

A budget is key at Christmas, it is advisable to calculate how much you are planning to spend on each person and stick to it.

Just because it’s Christmas, everyday bills shouldn’t be ignored, these take priority, particularly the rent or the mortgage.

Should you need more cash, don’t run up an overdraft without talking to your bank first, it will work out too costly. The best way of paying for goods is cash, cheque or debit card.

If you do plan to use a credit card, it is advised to shop around for the best deal. Check for hidden extras in any credit agreement. Work out the total amount payable and ensure that the monthly installments are within your budget before signing.

Finally, when buying presents, shop around to find the best deal, it will save money in the long run.

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News posted: December 5, 2007

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